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[suh-har-uh, -hair-uh, -hahr-uh] /səˈhær ə, -ˈhɛər ə, -ˈhɑr ə/
a desert in N Africa, extending from the Atlantic to the Nile valley. About 3,500,000 sq. mi. (9,065,000 sq. km).
any arid waste.
Related forms
Saharan, Saharian, adjective
trans-Sahara, adjective
trans-Saharan, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for saharan
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Just such figures must swarm in the saharan cities, in the Soudan and Senegal.

    In Morocco Edith Wharton
  • What a truly saharan group is that which I have just noticed.

  • His career in saharan and Moroccan campaigns had already proved him to be a leader of no ordinary merit.

    Wounded and a Prisoner of War

    Malcolm V. (Malcolm Vivian) Hay
  • The fluctuations of Spanish seasons—varying from Noachian deluge to saharan drought—necessarily react upon the habits of wildfowl.

    Unexplored Spain Abel Chapman
  • In the saharan Atlas the passes leading to or from the desert are numerous, and in most instances easy.

  • The low levels of the saharan Sanitaria are against them except at the outset of the disease.

    With The Night Mail Rudyard Kipling
  • On the higher saharan peaks snow lies on the ground all winter, and is sometimes found, in sheltered spots, in summer.

    Meteorology Charles Fitzhugh Talman
  • But as mischance would have it, treason broke out at home whilst the saharan King was sojourning amongst the infidel.

    Mogreb-el-Acksa R. B. Cunninghame Graham
  • Its machicolated crests glistened in the brilliant Southern sunlight like an exotic of the saharan country.

    The Automobilist Abroad

    M. F. (Milburg Francisco) Mansfield
British Dictionary definitions for saharan


a group of languages spoken in parts of Chad and adjacent countries, now generally regarded as forming a branch of the Nilo-Saharan family
relating to or belonging to this group of languages
of or relating to the Sahara


a desert in N Africa, extending from the Atlantic to the Red Sea and from the Mediterranean to central Mali, Niger, Chad, and the Sudan: the largest desert in the world, occupying over a quarter of Africa; rises to over 3300 m (11 000 ft) in the central mountain system of the Ahaggar and Tibesti massifs; large reserves of iron ore, oil, and natural gas. Area: 9 100 000 sq km (3 500 000 sq miles). Average annual rainfall: less than 254 mm (10 in.). Highest recorded temperature: 58°C (136.4°F)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for saharan


1610s, from Arabic çahra "desert" (plural çahara), according to Klein, noun use of fem. of the adjective asharu "yellowish red." Related: Saharan.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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saharan in Culture

Sahara definition

Desert in northern Africa.

Note: At approximately 3.5 million square miles, it is the world's largest desert.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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